During my last discussion with the Crank over Memorial Day weekend, we did manage to reach the spirit of compromise in several key areas. We decided on Star Trek for the movie and Coke and Guinness for the BBQ afterwards, but beyond that… We actually do agree on quite a few areas and can reach a compromise, of sorts, on other important topics (like appetizers and side salads). The one thing we can’t seem to agree on, in fact, we both get rather heated when mentioned, is torture. Torture is a completely indefensible position and the fact that we are having this debate for so long only shows how deeply the Bush/Cheney ideology has mired us in an amoral funk not unlike my sophomore year at college. The Crank feels, much like Cheney, that we need to go to the dark side to beat these guys, not unlike my junior year in college. On some level I understand the ‘24 scenario’. A dirty bomb is being smuggled into Baltimore and the guy sitting in our holding cell knows when and where. Obviously, we need to get that info and, if real techniques prove fruitless, we would strain some of the Geneva Conventions, as well as a few muscles, to extract that information. We just have to ask ourselves, what would a reasonable person do in that situation? In this scenario prosecutions would be unlikely, but to base our laws on that extreme scenario is ridiculous.
If Bush had only bent the rules during the, aforementioned 24 scenarios, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, but limiting this program to those acute episodes were never their intentions. Rumsfeld’s grubby hands are all over Abu Ghraib. A few bad apples? Please. We have memos with Rumsfeld’s handwriting on them, memos that set the stage for the fraternity hazing party that followed. You have to be entrenched in the Republican cocoon not to see that. Using this fear-driven ‘24 scenario’ the last administration made a mockery of the rule of law. They applied Suskind’s ‘One Percent’ Doctrine to everything in all directions. If there’s a one percent chance we can get usable intelligence from this guy, torture the bastard. Meanwhile, in Iraq we invaded a country illegally (getting more illegal every day), we picked up swathes of people (an estimated seventy percent wrongly), and tortured them all for Jesus. I don’t want any part of it. Accrue all the bad karma you want for your own stupidity, but leave me the hell out of it.
Perusing the blogosphere today I found a quote from Abraham Lincoln on The Daily Dish that, in a nut shell, summarizes just how wrong the Crank is on this topic:
“Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in us. Our defense is in the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism at your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage and you prepare your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of others, you have lost the genius of your own independence and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises among you.”
Is Obama Lincoln or is he that cunning tyrant of which Lincoln warned? Leaves to be seen, folks, and the blame clearly rests upon the shoulders of those who cheered on the dismantling of the rule of law.
Torture is an affront to who we are as a people. If the Archie Bunkers of the world want to bat it around over their pork chops, fine, but why are our elected officials still arguing about this publicly? There’s no debate; it’s a disgrace. And if we continue down this road there will be nothing whatsoever worth saving. Bin Laden wanted us to become a shadow of ourselves. Apparently, he is much shrewder character than the neocon-minded among us. We may well have a man in office who sounds eloquent and caring, but behind the scenes the fact remains: he is doing whatever the hell he wants. I remain quite skeptical that executive power has returned to normal. The list of Bush’s transgressions has gone unpunished, not unlike my senior year of college. In essence, this gives the green light for continued executive abuses.
I do agree with the Crank on this: the rest of those torture photos should not be released. I saw what Abu Ghraib did for Al-Qaeda recruitment and for our own morale, but, remember folks, the next attack is all Obama’s fault. Set up a non-partisan investigation (Patrick Fitzgerald) and those investigating should review the photos and make their recommendations. Here’s the bottom line: our CIA is under siege, but not because of the libertards. It’s because of the gross incompetence of the former administration. Now every tactic is going to be scrutinized and intelligence gathering is going to be made infinitely more difficult. They abused their powers, weakened our intelligence agencies, and now these entities will be subjected to scrutiny that will impact their very abilities to prevent future terror attacks. But, remember folks, the next attack is Obama’s fault. The impact on our future is obvious to those paying attention. They have weakened our military, our economy, and now our ability to gather information (via torture) and sharing intelligence with other countries (poor credibility). Feel safer? From day one the neo-cons planned to blame the economic collapse and the next terrorist attack on the Dems. Sadly, many will buy it.
But libertards beware. Obama thus far seems completely Pelosi-whipped. Whipped by the only figure equally frightening as Bush/Cheney (though in the opposite direction). How did she get into this position? Who slept through the interview? What were the voters of California smoking during that election? Oh…never mind.
“Nancy Pelosi is the best argument against medical marijuana”
Obama may well be avoiding torture to protect Pelosi. Depressing, isn’t it? Obama is not exactly instilling confidence in a restored system, but is highlighting a whole other set of deficiencies. He may well be protecting torturers for his ditzy, Frisco pal. I told the Crank recently, Bush and Cheney tore off half the Constitution and now Obama may well tear off the rest.
The first and second amendments have never been in more danger. The self-righteous, liberal pluralists have less patience for conflicting views than any other group to date. They will take your guns amidst very unsure times, minus the ability to keep us safe, and they will destroy free speech in the guise of political correctness and “hate speech.” Obama had a clear warning to Sotomeyer critics. Perez Hilton attacked Mrs. America for expressing her views…in America. From now on you can have views, just as long as they are my views. They will silence dissenters with all the gusto of the Gestapo. But, they are from a higher perspective, so why not call Gestapo’s Angels?
But, in the libertards defense, they have reached this boiling point because of the last decade of abuses. There is a war on religion for the same reason. People are sick of the revolting real world consequences of a fundamentalist belief system. Their message is simple, leave the stupidity in the pews, peeps. But from Beck and Cowan’s Spiral Dynamic perspective, let me put it this way: liberals are functioning from a higher perspective; start acting like it! Growing up means taking on more responsibility, not sinking to someone else’s level and tactics. This is why MSNBC will ultimately be more accountable than Fox. They should know better.
Most of the people who are championing this ‘higher perspective’ are actually fodder for Fox News. The shadow side of ‘green’ is frightening and when you look in the mirror, if you’re not careful, you’re going to see Nancy Pelosi staring back at you. (I may not sleep for a week).
The Crank has said “I want them to torture to save my fat beige ass.”
Those first interrogators were given the green light to torture after these detainees were deemed compliant by the CIA (aka, cooperating), but when they failed to help connect the dots between Iraq and Al-Qaeda, Cheney, a shrewd and demented man, knew the best way to get a false confession was via torture. So as it turns out, it’s not about the Crank’s beige ass after all. It’s about war crimes to defend Dick’s delusions (dDd). Can’t you see what pulling the cork and letting the genie escape will do to us? If you want to have the debate get the leading interrogators in the country to discuss this matter. You will find that the majority of the most qualified professionals feel torture is not effective. So we are losing our souls for bullshit. Only a handful of paid-for Foxers will admit otherwise. Torture only begets torture. Now reread the above Lincoln quote again fifty times. There’s going to be a test.